I Have Been Abused And I Still Believe In Love

I Have Been Abused And I Still Believe In Love

Even in the darkest of times, you should never stop believing.
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I have been abused mentally, physically, and have been cheated on. So, I guess you can say I’ve had it all, and it can’t really get worse than that.

As I was growing up and getting into the dating world, I knew going into it that I was going to have broken hearts. Ranging from being called derogatory names, controlling my social media use, to being hit, kicked, and dragged up the stairs by my hair. I never ever in a million years thought I would become a victim of abuse. But I guess that’s why they say you “always get what you least expect” in life.

Going through something like this has really changed my perspective on life. I cried until there were no more tears to cry, and then would cry again. Dreading the days to come, dealing with the concept and fact that these things have happened to me I had some sort of epiphany along the way: even though I completely broken down from this, I still believe in love.

Since I have stepped away from everything, things came into focus. Love is something that is patient, and love is something that is kind. Though there is pain now, it will be worth it in the long run. All of those tears and emotions of the past will be forgotten when you are with someone who truly loves you.

I know that it is not my fault that I was abused. It’s never the victims fault. That person made the conscious decision to hurt you. Even though all the bruises are healed, there will always be a scar in me. But instead of having that being a dark cloud hanging over me, I have decided to wear it on my sleeve and embrace it. Yes, it is very sad that something like this happened, but I got out of it and getting out is a lot easier said than done. You have to go beyond what your heart is saying to you, and do what is right for you, not your abuser. And it is never easy to lose someone you care about. Breaking from that takes a lot of strength and courage.

I still believe in love because I see it in others. In my family, and in my friends. I see my parents, still being happily married after twenty-something years. I see my brother and sister, coming for me in times of need. Or my friends who are there for me. That is a kind of love that we see every day, but don’t even notice because it is hidden in plain sight.

Bad things will be thrown at you all of your life. How you come back from them really defines your strength as a person. They teach you life lessons, and shape you into the good person you are meant to be.

Cover Image Credit: Clare Keast

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

To My Best Friend Dealing With A Broken Heart, We'll Get Through This Together

I can't actually fill that void.

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To my best friend dealing with a broken heart,

It won't last forever.

Your heart, scratch that—you—will heal. You're already strong, but you'll become tougher. You're already smart, but you'll become wiser. You're already sexy, but you'll become even more irresistible.

And I'll be here the entire time. I can't wait to see who you become.

It won't be easy. I'm not going to sugar coat it and say that you'll be smiling and confidently strutting the streets by tomorrow. You have everything you need, but if your heart needs some time, take it. There's no rulebook. Honestly, I don't know how I got out of my rut, but I did and now I'm here. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I cried on end, but my support group–you–helped me through it one day at a time. Don't stress about what other people think—even me, forget my thoughts! Focus on you. What does your body need? What does your soul need?

I'm sorry. I wish I could take away this pain.

There's nothing that can compare to this feeling and I know I can't actually fill that void—no one can, other than you.

You never think it'll happen to you.

You had the future planned out. You shared your deepest darkest secrets. You both shared, I love you's and genuinely meant it. Of course, there were happy times. It was all real. I won't bash your ex unless you need me to (personally, I cringe anytime someone speaks badly of my ex... at the end of the day, I loved that man) but, just know, you did everything you could.

It wasn't meant to be and, one day, you will find your happily ever after. That love will be greater than anything you can ever imagine.

I'm not going to sit here and let you mope. The memories will never fade, but at this moment, forget about the past and the future, only the now. If you are angry, punch a wall, but steer away from feeling regret. Nothing in life is worth regretting over. It is all lessons-learned and adventures to remember later on.

This will pass and you will laugh about it. When I heard that for the first time, I wanted to scream, I could never laugh at the situation, but here I am now. You lost someone and that's never easy, but you've also gained so much experience.

You are gorgeous and breathtaking, you better start believing it because anyone would be so lucky to have you in their life.

Today, you start loving yourself.

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I Chose My College Because Of My Then-Boyfriend—We Broke Up, And Somehow I Have No Regrets

I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

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When you graduate high school while in a relationship, things can get a little tricky. If you're not from a college town or if you don't plan on attending the one near you, you're faced with some pretty big questions.

Is the relationship worth it? Can we do the whole "long distance" thing? How will it work?

Three years ago, I faced these questions with some uncertainty. My plan had always been to go out-of-state for college, to attend the big university of my dreams. I had applied there, and I even got accepted to enroll. It was a pretty big deal to me to achieve even a fraction of what I had dreamed of for so many years.

However, I had a boyfriend. It was a pretty serious one, since we'd been together for a couple years before I graduated high school. He was older, already in college. He came home pretty often since the college he attended wasn't horribly far from our hometown and we made it work.

When I got accepted to that far away college, things got uncomfortable. It was pretty obvious that he didn't want me to go there and wasn't a big fan of the thought of being a long distance couple. So, I compromised. I chose to apply to a college just under an hour away from our hometown, similar to what he did, so that we could continue to date. We were serious about each other, so I figured it was a sacrifice I could make for the long run. I wanted to make him happier by staying close by.

That didn't really work, though. Our personalities were painfully different, but this was only really highlighted in a negative way when I moved away. I was outgoing, involved, and loved to make friends. He was pretty much the opposite, and being older than me, he wasn't very interested in doing the things I wanted to do. He would come up to visit, but never wanted to interact with any of my friends or really do anything exciting at all besides sit in my dorm.

For the first two or so years that I was in college, we fought constantly. I didn't come home enough, I was too busy, and I was friends with people he wasn't fond of. I had a job, I was in a sorority, and I was involved in several other clubs, so my time was spread pretty thin. On the weekends, I would go out to parties totally sober for my friends but I'd get yelled at for being there at all. All of my actions were policed as if he was a father instead of a boyfriend. I was miserable.

I was afraid to talk about it publicly, but my friends knew how miserable I was and that the love had been gone for a long time. I was stuck at this university that I didn't really care about, that was too close to home for me to really feel like I had even left the nest at all.

After nearly two years of misery, I finally left that relationship. It pissed a lot of people off, especially the people back home who were friends with both of us. But they didn't know everything, just one side. That's OK, though. I really didn't care, because I was finally taking my life back.

I may have chosen to attend my university because it was closer to a boyfriend back home, but I love it even more now than when I started. I was able to become involved in campus activities and organizations without feeling guilty anymore. I was able to hang out with friends without being yelled at and tracked like a dog. I was able to enter a new relationship that was healthy, loving, and bettered my mental well-being instead of hurting it.

I've been able to fall in love with my campus all over again. It may be close to home and people I don't really care about anymore, but if I had gone out-of-state or anywhere else, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't be in my sorority, or in my current relationship. I wouldn't be the best version of myself that I've seen to date. I wouldn't be this strong woman who finally learned her worth.

I used to regret my decision to attend the college that I do, but I don't anymore. It's my home, and no one can take that away from me. Thanks to my university, I've been given opportunities to grow as a leader, as a student, and as a person. I'm not the person I was in high school three years ago, that's for damn sure, and I couldn't be happier about that.

I don't necessarily think everything happens for a reason, but I do think that choosing the college that I did was a pivotal moment in my life. My high school relationship might not have worked out, and sure, college was a factor, but I'm glad that it didn't. My life is mine now, and so is my college experience.

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